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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What Rewards?

This blog is for my bestie Cheryl, who has seen me through thick and thin, literally.  I was fat when we first became friends.  She was there when I changed my habits and finally took off the weight.  So of course, she has heard me blather nonstop about food choices ever since.  Poor thing.  Anyway, we have been talking about losing the Thanksgiving bulge for the past few days (like everyone else!)  AND motivating each other to stay on the good eating track until we get rid of that Thanksgiving 5!!!  BTW, I can't underestimate the importance of good diet sounding board.  One with a good sense of humor.

Anyway,  we were discussing the pleasure we get from a piece of pumpkin pie.  MMMMM!  With whipped cream.  So good, I think I should have another piece!  A little slice of heaven.   But wait, when I'm finished I feel bloated and sick and disgusting!  I knew that would happen, but I did it anyway.  The MMMMM Yummys took over my brain for a second and I didn't see the consequences...remorseful, bloating, pants unbuttoned yuk.  Why do I do this to myself?  Why do WE do this to OURselves ( I'm not alone, am I?)

When rating the consequences of overeating; overweight, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes (the list goes on) thin folks and heavy folks gave the same ratings.  All bad.  So we know the consequences of overeating and choosing the wrong foods!  When the same folks were asked to rate the REWARDS of eating that piece of pie (or cheeseburger, or cookies, or chips) the heavy folks way overrated the rewards of eating the junk compared to their thin counterparts.  Clearly some of us get more rewards from eating cheesecake and chocolate than others.  Or at least we think we do! 

So the reasons NOT to eat poorly, we already know them.  All too well.  Let's look at the highly overrated reasons TO overeat.  "It tastes sooo good."  "I'm so hungry, I need to eat right now."  "McDonalds is right around the corner."  "I've had a bad day, I deserve this."   Really?  Are these our best reasons?  If we think like a thin person, we would say "Nothing tastes as good as being healthy." "I can wait."  "I've had a bad day so I'm going to take a bubble bath."  Stop rating your indulgences so highly.  Self talk your way out of the chip bag.  It may not work all the time, but hey, every little bit helps. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Too Young To Be Old

I am too young to be old!  But I am obviously too old to be young!  I have to wear readers to see the menu.  I wake up with bed sheet wrinkles that last a half an hour.  I actually like Reader’s Digest.  I am now older than my Doctor, my Dentist, and my Hair Stylist.  Worst of all, my butt is not where it used to be (along with other parts of my body.)  Age and gravity…they are not friends.  I am old enough to know this first hand.  BUT, I am young enough to want to do something about it!

I remember the days (yes, I just said that…OLD) when I could eat nothing but junk food for days on end and never gain a pound.  I could pull an all- nighter and look great the next day.  I felt good all of the time.  Youth.  Now, I have to work at feeling good.   I eat my vegetables every day…plus supplements.  I need a multi, some calcium, some vitamin D, some omega 3!!!  My counter is a disaster.  I have to get my sleep, even if that means having bed sheet wrinkles for the first hour of my day.  And now, I occasionally wake up with a back ache for NO APPARENT REASON!  Aging is not for sissies.  And I’ve been told it just gets worse.  You have got to be kidding me?

Guess what?  I do have something now that I didn’t when I was 25.  Discipline.  And thank goodness, because without it I’d be a hot mess.  They say with age comes wisdom.  I say, with age comes discipline.  I now put gas in my car BEFORE the light comes on (and keep air in the tires too.)  It’s not just my car either.  I have the discipline to take better care of myself.  I exercise.  I get my rest.  I eat right.  I balance my checkbook J  If only I had done these things when I was younger!  I’d probably be in much better shape today.  I’m sure I’d still have to wear reading glasses though. Cuz I’m too young to get my Reader’s Digest in large print! Lol!     

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Thanksgiving is coming!  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Not just because I love to eat and like to cook, but Thanksgiving is the least commercial of the major holidays.  No gifts to buy, no tree to put up, no eggs to hide, no baskets to fill.  Hallmark hasn't gotten to Thanksgiving yet!  All you do is fix a meal.  Heck, you have to do that anyway.  It's like a regular day, except with Turkey.  Just you and your loved ones...eating and giving thanks!  Awesome.

Everyone thinks it's so hard to be diet conscious on Thanksgiving.  Not so.  Turkey and veggies.  You're covered.  The hard part is VOLUME.  There is always such a great selection of great foods on thanksgiving.  Turkey, ham, salad, green beans...OK, there is also plenty of not so great foods too.  Like mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.  But stuffing yourself is as American as Thanksgiving itself.  If we Americans new how to do things in moderation we'd all be skinny.  But we like to do things BIG.  Unfortunately, our stomachs aren't as big as our eyes...or our appetites. 

Our stomach is about the size of a fist. Come on, ball up your hand and take a look.  Compare that to the standard 12 inch plate.  Amazing, huh?  We can really pack it in!  Our stomach can expand to hold about 8 cups of food but it only takes 1 cup to fill it.  After time, we grow accustomed to that overfull feeling and come to expect it.  Sadly, we don't feel satisfied without it.  But what we learn, we can unlearn!  Is that a word...unlearn?  Anyway, little by little, reduce portion sizes until you can eat 1 cup of food and be satisfied.  It won't happen over night, but hey, no one puts on 50 lbs over night either.

Another thing to consider, our liver can process only so much food at one sitting.  About 1 or 2 cups.  When we eat 4, 6, or 8 cups of food, what is the liver to do?  It can't handle the volume.  Guess where that extra food goes?  Straight to FAT STORAGE.  Like we need any more fat storage!  So give your liver a break.  Small frequent meals allows for digetive efficiency.  You body can immediately use up what you take in, leaving nothing left for storage.  Isn't that what we want?  Less fat storage? 

This Thanksgiving, use a salad plate.  Chew slowly.  Eat slowly.  See if you can limit your intake to about 2 cups.  Then sit back and watch the football game.  Let your stomach and liver do their jobs.  They will be ready for more in a few hours.  Then you can have some more.  Thats one of the best parts of Thanksgiving after all.  Leftovers :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chocolate Season

It is officially the Chocolate Season!  That is what I affectionately call the time between Halloween and Valentine's Day.  It's three and a half months long and is filled with reasons to eat chocolate.  Can you tell I am a chocoholic?  I am a chocolate snob and would prefer the good stuff but I never met a chocolate that I didn't like.  Clearly you can see why the Chocolate Season can be a problem for my weight maintenance.  Even if you're not a sweet eater, the holiday season is sprinkled with all kinds of temptations that are hazardous to your weight.  The average American gains seven pounds during the Holiday's.  Are you going to be the average American?

For the last seven Chocolate Seasons I have maintained my weight.  Miraculously.  Does this mean I don't eat Halloween candy, Thanksgiving pie, or Christmas cookies?  Are you kidding?  I'm not that strong.  I do say no more than I say yes, though.  I have to pick my battles.  Halloween candy wasn't a big problem this year.  I haven't had one piece.  I put my nose down to that big bowl of candy and took a wif.  EEEWWW.  That cheap, processed sugar stuff didn't smell the slightest bit appealing so I smugly walked away.  Somehow, walking away once has made it easier to walk away again.  And again.  Please be advised,  this law also works in reverse.  Having just one piece makes it easier to have another piece.  And another.

Thanksgiving will be another time I should be able to navigate fairly easily.  There are plenty of good choices of lean proteins and veggies.  AND it only lasts for one day, right?  OOHHH, leftover pie.  I forgot.  I'll be sure to send that home with someone else!  It's Christmas time that I really struggle.  All the nog and cookies and nog!!!  All the good smells make me crazy.  Pine needles and cinnamon  sends me straight to the cute Santa Claus cookie tray...with some nog, of course.  Now, Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without some of these traditional yummies so this is how I manage.

I allow one day of moderate indulgence with a MINIMUM of two day's good behavior in between.  Why?  Because I need the time to recuperate from my sugar hangover and get my mind right!  For example, If I have a party to go to and I know I'm going to have some spiked eggnog (It is a party, after all!) and some holiday goodies, I can bet the next day I am going to be an insulin saturated mess.  We all know that insulin makes cravings go through the roof so I need to be on my best behavior the following day.  That's the day I'm going to crave mac and cheese and ice cream so I better have a plan.  You know my plans always include protein, fiber, and lots of WATER. lol.  This plan is no exception.  The next day I'm going to plan my good behavior...protein, fiber and lots of WATER.  This puts my mind back where I need it...on track.

This I know, one day off my plan and I'm OK.  I can get back on the wagon with a bit of effort.  Two days off my plan and I'm asking for trouble.  It's going to be a struggle getting it back together.  Three days off...forget it.  Not pretty.  So stick with one day off and at least two days on.  Stay of the speeding Holiday train cuz the next stop is Seven Pounds Up.  You don't want to go there.
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